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Jefferson Parish Wants New Westbank Animal Shelter

Jefferson Parish says one of the problems with its Westbank animal shelter can be solved by moving into a new building.
/ Source: WDSU.com

WDSU .com

Jefferson Parish says one of the problems with its Westbank animal shelter can be solved by moving into a new building.

The Westbank shelter is more than 30 years old. The parish said it smells terrible, it's overcrowded and it's a maintenance nightmare.

"The sewer system frequently gets backed up. It has a lot of odor problems because the volume of waste material going through it exceeds its capacity," said Deano Bonano, head of Jefferson Parish Emergency Services. "(The shelter) has a lot of maintenance issues because of its age. The air-conditioning system, the garage, all those things have problems with its functionality because of its age. So it's a constant maintenance nightmare to keep it up and running."

And the parish says the maintenance costs are always mounting. The building is also small and overcrowding is an ongoing problem. The building is designed to hold nearly 400 dogs and cats, but the shelter routinely exceeds its capacity.

That's why the parish is looking to acquire a new building for the shelter. The parish president says he will seek council approval to negotiate with West Jefferson Medical Center to use its former clinic building in Terrytown next to the Oakwood Mall.

"The new shelter will provide a healthier environment for the animals and a more attractive place for the public to reclaim lost pets and adopt homeless dogs and cats," said Parish President Aaron Broussarid.

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